About a week or so ago, I grabbed a frozen dinner from Target since I needed something to eat and with travel, it made no sense to cook much. It said “vegan” on the outside, so I just went with it. It was instant love. I was also certain I could recreate this, sans the added oil, for about what it cost me to buy one meal. I did some research and found a bevvy of others attempting the same–most of them using Kashi’s 7 grain pilaf and plenty of oil (not to mention all very different). I didn’t want to bother with each, so I looked up the ingredients from the back of the box and went to work.
Admittedly, this dish is quite a bit of effort, but it makes an entire pan–so plenty of leftovers for me. Now, if you are a family of 4, you probably won’t have a lot of leftovers, but I would imagine you could get two meals out of a pan, depending on the appetites involved.
This recipe it probably more advanced than I usually make–I like to come up with stuff that is fairly simple and straight forward, but sometimes, things simply are not.
The Pink Ticket Version of the Mayan Harvest Bake
2 large sweet potatoes
2 very ripe plantains (mostly black)
2-3 cups chopped kale (more or less to your particular taste, I used 3–kale rocks!)
1 can or 2 cups black beans
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
1 cup amaranth
3 cups water
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon ancho chili powder
1/2 teaspoon paprika
2 teaspoons sesame seeds
1 1/2 teaspoons cilantro
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup brown rice
1/4 cup bulger wheat
1/8 cup barley (or quinoa)
1/8 cup buckwheat
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
3 1/4 cups water
2 1/2 cups tomato sauce/puree
1 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon ancho chili powder
1 teaspoon garlic
1/2 large onion, chopped
2 teaspoons cilantro
1 poblano pepper seeded and roughly chopped (or 1 jalapeno)
1 teaspoon sesame seeds
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Peel and cube sweet potatoes (about 1/4 inch cubes). Peel and half the plantains and slice into 1 inch pieces.
- Layer the potatoes and plantains on a large non-stick baking sheet. (Optional: sprinkle sweet potatoes with some ancho chili powder.)
- Roast the sweet potatoes and plantains for approximately 15 minutes, or until sweet potatoes are thoroughly cooked and slightly browned on the edges. Remove from oven when done and set aside.
- While roasting, prepare the amaranth polenta and pilaf on the stove. These can be done simultaneously using two pans or sequentially using one pan–the first option cuts 20-25 minutes off total prep time.
- To prepare the amaranth, add all ingredients to the pot and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook, covered until all water is absorbed–about 20-25 minutes.
- To prepare the pilaf, combine all ingredients in the pan and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook until all water is absorbed–about 20-25 minutes.
- Prepare the sauce by adding all ingredients except the sesame seeds into a blender and puree until smooth. Add in the sesame seeds and set aside.
- Ready a 9 x 13 inch non-stick baking pan and preheat (or reduce heat) oven to 375.
- When the amaranth polenta and the pilaf are done, mix together well. This will be sticky and heavy. Spread the mixture evenly in the bottom of the baking pan.
- Layer on the kale, then the black beans, followed by the sweet potatoes.
- Pour sauce over top.
- Layer on the roasted plantains and sprinkle the pumpkin seeds over top.
- Bake for 30 minutes and allow to sit for 10 minutes after removed from oven.
Refrigerate or freeze leftovers. Reheat in an oven at 350 degrees (preferred) for 15 minutes for non-frozen, or 30-35 for frozen. Alternately, reheat covered in a microwave for 3-4 minutes for non-frozen, or 10-12 minutes for frozen–stirring halfway through.